God Is Concerned With What Comes From Within Us
It is amazing how Jesus puts an emphasis on being careful of what comes out of the hearts and inevitably from the mouths of believers.
Mark 7: 1-5 narrates how the Pharisees found fault with the disciples because they did not wash their hands in a "special" way before eating bread.
Some traditions hinder us from doing what the Word of the Lord says we should do. When traditions or certain ways of doing things are not observed, we easily point fingers at one another. When it comes to HIV, certain beliefs and traditions fuel stigma and discrimination of those living with HIV.
It is easy to find fault and point fingers.
But what does the Lord Jesus say to these Pharisees? He cautions them not to reject the commandment of God for the sake of traditions handed down to them.
In verse 14-15, the Lord clearly says that NOTHING that enters a man from outside can defile him! There it is important to watch what comes out of our mouths when we interact with one another. Some words are hurtful and destructive, and some words even destroy relationships.
Besides words, our actions can be also be destructive to our mutual relationships and can also draw us away from God. We need to be careful of what our hearts are desiring: Evil thoughts can lead to evil actions.
To think about: Carefully consider what we treasure as our "traditions", how do they affect us in this time when there is stigma and discrimination around HIV.
Written By: Pastor Thembi Sibanda, ACET Zimbabwe Trust Director, CCoH Facilitator and Representative in Zimbabwe.